Queen of the Highway

Oh, hi there.  Just thought I'd pop in and give a quick little hello.  Today I am off to the Houston area for the Christmas week.  I am so excited!  I can't even remember the last time I was off work or in my homeland for more than just a few days.  It's going to be a week to remember - that's for sure ;)

I've already got a few things lined up.  I might be seeing some old high school friends tonight, tomorrow I'll be attending brunch (!) with my all-time favorite ladies and tomorrow night I'm meeting up with my good friend Amanda.  Sunday kicks off a few days of much-needed family time.  It's tradition that I celebrate Christmas with my dad, stepmom and my dad's parents on Christmas Eve, and then I get see all of my mom's family on Christmas Day.  I'm definitely looking forward to experencing all of the festivities, food and, most importantly, all of the precious faces.

I'll return after the holidays with (hopefully) tons of pictures!  Whatever your holiday plans may be, I hope they are as magical as I know mine will surely be.  MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY UPCOMING 2013!!

Many hugs & more kisses.


Bathing Beauties

My sweet cousin, Sarah, graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University this past weekend with a Bachelor's of Business Administration degree in Economics - Summa Cum Laude, might I add.  I'm so, so proud of her.  She's come a long way from that adorable, doe-eyed little blonde chasing Esther and I around to keep up with our erratic, girlish antics, but she is still as selfless and giving as ever.  The entire weekend was a wonderful treat - getting to spend some much-needed quality time with Esther on the road to Nacogdoches, seeing my sweet Nana, goofing around with my mom, hearing Aunt Kelley's infectious laugh, chatting with Aunt Kandace, eating Aunt Kim and Uncle Dale's always delicious food, giggling with my sister and younger cousins and, of course, seeing Sarah walk across that stage, stepping into that new, terrifyingly uncertain phase of life with the world in ruffles at your feet.  After the ceremony, we all gathered around the table for Frito pie and gelatin salad, and I felt myself get lost in the moment, melting into the eyes of these people surrounding me, every fiber in my body feeling nothing but unconditional love for my family.  This is it.  This is what it all comes down to - family loving and supporting each other to no end.  It's so overwhelming in the best of ways.


Playlist Post: Christmas 2012

Of all the Christmas music I've listened to each holiday season for the past 24 years, these songs take the fruitcake as far as I'm concerned.  Most are the lovable, untouchable classics from Elvis, Sinatra, Dean Martin and Ella Fitzgerald in addition to a few newer versions.  I'd have to say my all-time favorite Christmas song is and will always be "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" by the one and only Judy Garland.  It makes me cry like a baby every time.  So, go toast your footsies by the fire and enjoy a steaming cup of hot chocolate as you listen to these beautiful songs of love and holiday cheer!



Home Slice Pizza on South Congress - Austin, Texas
Looking forward to: The Nutcracker Ballet on Saturday!  I saw a local commercial for the ballet a couple of weeks ago and immediately felt warm and giddy inside thinking back to when I was younger and would go to ballets and plays with Meme and Papa, particularly around Christmastime.  Sometimes I get so starved for comfort and familiarity up here without being surrounded by family like I'm used to, and seeing the commercial and experiencing the feelings it evoked within me, I knew I needed to do this.  I decided to approach Jason with the idea, and he said he was up for it.  We decided to invite our friends Corey and Helen along, so it'll be a lovely little double-date affair.  I'm definitely anxious for Saturday evening.  We're going to dinner at El Alma beforehand and then to The Long Center for the performance.

Eating: better.  I'm trying to get serious about my eating habits once again.  I know, the holidays aren't the best time for diet modifications. This is always such a struggle for me.  I don't necessarily over-eat; I just love food so much.  I was raised in a family that enjoys food - every aspect of it - the buying, the preparing, the cooking, the eating, the leftovers, etc.  Don't get me wrong - it's a wonderful, potentially beneficial habit to appreciate and love food.  I've just been trying to make sure I incorporate lots of veggies and more fruit into my diet, and I'm attempting to be more aware of when certain produce are in season.  I bought some winter squash, red pears and pomegranates a few days ago, and I'm limiting my sugar intake.  Little by little I'll get there.

Listening to: a variety of different music.  With it being Christmastime, I'm of course indulging myself in A Very She & Him Christmas, Christmas With Coniff, Vince Guaraldi, Frank Sinatra, Elvis, The Carpenters and many more.  I'll probably upload of playlist post of all my Christmas music in the next few days.  We watched an episode of Parenthood a couple of nights ago and had a beautiful cover of Joni Mitchell's "A Case of You" by James Blake.  I've been listening to that on repeat this evening.  That tends to happen to me; I'll hear a song that absolutely stops me in my tracks and irrevocably haunts me for weeks on end.  It's a fabulous curse if you ask me.

Watching: some amazing movies that have relentlessly resonated with me since I watched them.  In my opinion, a film is perfect when it forces you to use your mind and it grabs ahold of your heart and wrings it out like a soaking wet dishcloth.  I absolutely love to feel any and every emotion while I'm watching a movie.  I want to feel it swim through my bloodstream, dig through my bones and crawl across my skin.  I've seen two movies recently that managed to do this to me.

The first was Take This Waltz starring Michelle Williams and Seth Rogen, directed by Sarah Polley.  It's about a young married woman who is seemingly happy and content with her husband of about five-six years, but their relationship has plateaued and lacks the passion she desires.  Enter tall, dark, handsome artist who just so happens to move in across the street.  She falls for him, but struggles with her feelings for him because she doesn't want to hurt her husband.  I really enjoyed the story because it's painfully realistic, and the ending sort of catches you off guard and leaves you unsettled, yet satisfied all at once.

The second was We Need To Talk About Kevin starring Tilda Swinton, Ezra Miller and John C. Reilly.  This one involves a super heavy story that switches back and forth in time, revolving around a mother analyzing her past display of abilities and decisions as a parent to her now teenage son, Kevin, who has been disturbed, if you will, since birth.  The dark, deeply thrilling film is visually appealing and artistically shot with red and white color motif from beginning to end.  Needless to say, I was captivated the entire two hours.

Hope everyone is having a great week so far, and, once again, many thanks to Danielle for inspiring these "Currently" posts.